Jaunt, a VR technology and content creator with offices all over the world (including LA, London, Amsterdam, and China) has recently secured a $66M investment from Disney, giving it some credibility and hype in the industry. The company offers VR filmmakers all the hardware, software, and apps needed to create high-quality VR content. Its current goal is to attract and educate creators to build up a content library that it can then distribute to a variety of media partners. They partner with veteran filmmakers to create many types of high-quality content, including films, sports games, and concerts, all of which target broad audiences. Initially, the founders of Jaunt intended to create a subscription service for access to their content, but now they said they are focused on creating content for device platforms (like Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard, Sony Playstation, etc.). That way, they can let those players do the heavy lifting of attracting audiences for them.
Jaunt creates value for the following stakeholders in the following ways:
- For Content Creators: Jaunt offers a suite of tools to help them make content for the virtual reality medium. This includes hardware like the Jaunt ONE VR camera for capturing scenes, software for editing and organizing video files like Jaunt Player, Media Manager, and Cloud, and means of distributing their content via their Jaunt App and partnerships with larger media companies.
- For Larger Media Companies: Jaunt creates fresh VR content which allows these companies to get their feet wet in the nascent industry. By distributing Jaunt content to their current audiences, larger media companies like Disney can figure out what their consumer’s appetite is for the new technology and how it can be used to create value and monetize content more effectively. Jaunt also creates VR content that supplements existing IP to create buzz around other entertainment products in the media companies’ portfolios like films and theme park rides.
- For Audiences: Jaunt creates high-quality, cinematic VR content that audiences can consume on their VR devices. It offers new entertainment experiences from attending concerts on the other side of the world to immersion in brand new worlds.
- For Device Manufacturers: Headset manufacturers need customers, but customers do not want to buy headsets if there’s no content on them. Jaunt creates this content, thereby increasing the health of the overall VR ecosystem.
Currently, Jaunt’s value capture is two-fold. One is selling tools like the camera and suite of post-production software to VR content creators. Camera stores like AbelCine and Radiant Images currently distribute their cameras. The other is operating as a VR production company that produces content to be sold to larger media companies. They are presently reliant on large media companies with the deep pockets necessary to explore the nascent technology that is not yet mainstream. This is because the current lack of adoption (due to bulky headsets and not-quite-there technology) makes it harder to convince producers/media companies that the large time and financial investment in creating content will pay off. Obviously, if adoption improves, value capture will improve.
The following are recommendations on how the company should proceed:
- Go from Product to Platform: Though a relative first-mover in the space, if adoption rates of VR skyrocket, suppliers of content will flood the market, dropping the prices Jaunt will be able to charge for their content. They should consider going from product-centric approach to a platform-centric one. This means creating content exclusive to their platform and working on attracting audiences and creators to use their platform. To do this, all content should be able to be played on all headsets (to increase audience subscription numbers). They should also flip the current partnership structure with media companies and instead license their IP to create unique VR experiences only viewable on their own platform.
- Concentrate on Gaming for now: The early adopters of this technology are gamers. The platform should look to attract these early adopters, then push them towards consuming new forms of VR once they have them.
- Partner with Film Schools: As discussed, VR needs more content in order to attract more users. And more content means more creators. Partnering with film schools to educate the next generation of filmmakers on producing VR could attract more creators into the space. They could also leverage these relationships with larger institutions to increase sales of their VR tools (cameras and software).